Posted at 7:05 AM on June 22, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Low income renters are worried about Gov. Pawlenty's cut to the renter's credit.
Minnesota school officials are scrambling to find funding after Gov. Pawlenty promised an IOU to them.
Crookston school officials are forced to borrow after Pawlenty's unallotment.
U of M grad students are facing a large tuition hike.
No lawsuits have been filed yet to challenge Pawlenty's authority.
The U of M will vote on a dry stadium proposal this week.
The Minnesota Senior Federation is dissolving.
Minnesota House Republicans will pick a new leader this week.
Republicans call President Obama timid on Iran.
Democrats worry the health plan lacks the votes to pass.
Democratic donor Sam Kaplan is named ambassador to Morocco.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes aim to Sonia Sotomayor's critics.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum will hold a hearing on the ammunition site in Arden Hills.
She will also hold a townhall meeting on health care on July first.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at DFL Rep. Collin Peterson's unhappiness with the Climate Change bill.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz complains that the Climate Change bill is moving too fast.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
The wait for Minnesota's second senator starts its fourth season.
Jib-Jab's take on Obama.
Posted at 10:48 AM on June 22, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Common Cause Minnesota wants Gov. Tim Pawlenty to payback all the campaign money he's received through the Political Contribution Refund program. The pending demise of the program prompted this news release:
Common Cause Minnesota calls on Governor Pawlenty to return all the money that he has received as a result of the political contribution refund (PCR) program. Last Friday, Gov. Pawlenty said on his radio show that he never liked the PCR program. However, Governor Pawlenty collected $236,222 in contributions through the political contribution refund program since 1995, using it while campaigning for state legislature and the governor's office.
"Governor Pawlenty, and almost every other candidate and political party, has used the political contribution refund program because it is a valuable way to engage people in the political process," said Mike Dean, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, a statewide government watchdog group. "This program allows candidates to raise money from average Minnesotans and thus focus on their issues, instead of just the issues of wealthy or special interests."
Minnesota state elections have largely been considered clean because of the political contribution refund program and other elements of the public financing system. By getting rid of this program through unallotment, Gov. Pawlenty has moved Minnesota closer to a federal model where candidates raise and spend outrageous sums of money to get elected. In fact, this year Congress is looking at creating a similar type of public financing system to limit the influence of well financed special interest groups.
Minnesota's public financing system has been an important reason that Minnesota state government is considered a model of "good government." Without PCR, elected officials will be largely financed by interest groups and caucuses, and as the primary financiers of the campaign they will have far more influence. This influence will come at the expense of the average Minnesotan.
Last Friday, Pawlenty defended his decision to eleiminate the PCR during his weekly radio show. The Republican governor said the refund is not a priority.
"The state pays $10 million a budget cycle to give out those refunds to subsidized the campaigns of people running for state office, Pawlenty said. "And so it's a nice program, it has it's own rationale. But in these challenging economic times, when we're trying to set priorities, I don't think subsidizing that program is more important than trying to keep some of our other things, like funding our schools and our health care programs."
Posted at 11:05 AM on June 22, 2009
by Tom Scheck
GOP state Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano says he's decided against running for Republican House Minority Leader and will instead support GOP state Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove for the position. Emmer said he can't dedicate the time for the GOP leadership position"
"The leader of our caucus cannot continue to promote him or herself in terms of their own political future. They have to be selfless, they have to work on behalf of the caucus and they have to make a significant commitment of time and attention to the job. As I told you, over the last few weeks, as I went through the process, right now, I can't make that decision in light of other decisions I'm going to make."
Emmer later said that some of those options including a run for governor. When asked if that was on the table, Emmer said, "Let's just say I'm not ruling that out."
Posted at 1:22 PM on June 22, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Gov. Pawlenty has accepted an invitation to speak at the conservative Family Research Council's Value Voter's Summit this September. The meeting is scheduled on September 18-20 in Washington D.C. Here's the synopsis of the event:
Adding to the line-up of conservative "who's who," Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) confirmed his appearance at FRC Action's Values Voter Summit from September 18-20 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Gov. Pawlenty will join a growing program of speakers that includes: Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Ken Blackwell, Phyllis Schlafly, Star Parker, and Lila Rose. Invited speakers include: Govs. Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh, Kirk Cameron, and many more!
Tickets start at just $99 for adults and $50 for students. They include access to: the general sessions, celebrity book signings, a "can't miss" exhibit hall, Bloggers' Row, and two of the18 breakout training sessions on Saturday afternoon with leading experts on a variety of social issues. For students who qualify, we also offer free scholarships that include a general pass, a special activism panel for students, and an exclusive Friday night reception. For more information on D.C.'s biggest pro-family event, or to register, log on to www.valuesvotersummit.org or call toll-free (877) 372-2808. Register today for the Values Voter Summit http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=LK09F77&f=WA09F48
(h/t Minnesota Independent)
This is the third out of state event that Gov. Pawlenty will attend (that we know of) over the next few months. He's scheduled to speak to the Arkansas Republican Party on Friday and will speak at a GOPAC event in Chicago in August.
Update: Pawlenty is also scheduled to speak at the Western CPAC in October according to the group's twitter feed.
Posted at 1:56 PM on June 22, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota released its 2009 scorecard this afternoon. Six members (including one gubernatorial hopeful) scored 100%.
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and GOP House Minority Leader Marty Seifert (who is running for governor) were dubbed "Heroes of the Taxpayer."
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (who is considering a run for governor) and DFL Sen. Tom Bakk (who is running for governor) were dubbed "Foes of the Taxpayer." DFL Sen. Larry Pogemiller and DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski also earned the dubious distinction by the conservative group.
I'm wondering how many GOP candidates for governor will sign the No New Taxes pledge this year. I also wonder how much the scorecard will help the DFL candidates among their supporters.
Here are the ratings on the gubernatorial hopefuls:
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk - 14
GOP Rep. Laura Brod - 87
DFL Sen. Tarryl Clark - 7
GOP Rep. Tom Emmer - 100
GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach - 54
GOP Sen. David Hann - 77
DFL Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher - 0
GOP Sen. Paul Koering - 67
GOP Rep. Paul Kohls - 93
GOP Rep. Morrie Lanning - 64
DFL Sen. John Marty - 21
GOP Sen. Geoff Michel - 79
GOP Rep. Marty Seifert - 93
GOP Sen. David Senjem - 57
DFL Rep. Paul Thissen - 7
You can read which candidates are running for governor or are considering a run for governor here.
Update: Phil Krinkie, with the Taxpayers League, said they intend to have some sort of Taxpayer's Protection Pledge for the 2010 candidates for governor. When I asked Krinkie who he was backing for governor, he replied jokingly "Well, it depends on who signs the pledge."
Posted at 4:44 PM on June 22, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The Legislative Advisory Commission will meet again on Tuesday, June 30th, to discuss Governor Pawlenty's unallotment plan. Minnesota Management and Budget says the meeting will be at 10 AM in Room 15 of the State Capitol. The meeting comes one day before Gov. Pawlenty has the authority to balance the budget on his own.